‘In Spain there is a bit of xenophobia with those who are from abroad’: LaLiga chief Javier Tebas defends Valencia owner Peter Lim following angry fan protests due to on-field results and financial cutbacks
- Valencia owner Peter Lim is coming under increasing pressure from club’s fans
- The LaLiga outfit have endured a harrowing year both on and off the pitch
- There has been a decline in results while Valencia have made financial cutbacks
- Javier Tebas has launched a defence of Lim, saying he ‘deserves all the respect’
LaLiga president Javier Tebas has launched a staunch defence of Valencia owner Peter Lim, who is coming under increasing scrutiny from angry fans for their recent decline.
Valencia supporters have turned on their owner after a horrid year both on and off the field, which has seen a big drop off in results while the club have made major financial cutbacks.
But Tebas has hit out at the Valencia fans’ protesting of Lim, from Singapore, claiming there is an issue of ‘xenophobia’ in Spain.
Angry Valencia supporters continue to protest against the ownership of Peter Lim
‘Peter Lim avoided bankruptcy of Valencia, he deserves all the respect,’ Tebas said, as per Cadena Cope.
Then when referring about the protests, Tebas added: ‘In Spain there is a bit of xenophobia with those who are from abroad.’
Two months ago, Valencia fans staged a protest outside the Mestalla against the club’s ownership after the departure of popular stars as the club made major cutbacks to their playing squad.
The protests, which had over 500 fans in attendance in Valencia, called for the exit of much-maligned owner Lim – who co-owns Salford City with Manchester United’s Class of ’92.
Meanwhile, on the pitch, performance levels have dropped considerably and Valencia have endured a tough start to the new LaLiga campaign.
Valencia fans pictured protesting against the much-maligned owner in November last year
Valencia, who finished ninth last season, currently sit 14th in Spain’s top-flight with just seven points from as many matches.
There are worries the situation will worsen significantly due to a fruitless summer, which saw no signings arrive while eight first-team players departed.
Manager Javi Gracia’s future looks far from certain – he has confirmed he will stay at the club but only due to a contractual obligation. If he was to step away, he would receive a penalty of almost £3million for resigning, according to Marca.
He has become disillusioned with the club’s summer transfer activities, which saw key players leave – including captain Dani Parejo on a free, Ferran Torres and Rodrigo.
Pressure will continue to grow massively on Lim if results don’t pick up immediately at the Mestalla.
LaLiga chief Javier Tebas defended Lim, before claiming ‘there is a bit of xenophobia’ in Spain
The Singapore billionaire took over Valencia in 2014 – becoming the first first foreign owner in the club’s history.
During his tenure at Valencia, Lim has overseen the sacking of six managers and brought in Gary Neville, a fellow Salford City co-owner, to take charge of the side back in 2015.
However, Neville endured a harrowing time in charge of Valencia and was sacked after less than four months into the job.
When Neville took over in early December 2015, Valencia were ninth in the table, five points off the Champions League places.
However, results were very hard to come by and Valencia would win just three of their 16 LaLiga matches under Neville.